I came back from vacation to an overwhelming yard full of weeds. Luckily a gorgeous weekend with low humidity let me spend a lot of time weeding the garden and between bricks in the walkway. Weeding is one of those mundane tasks that I actually love. It’s quiet thinking time and once you clear away what’s not needed, it’s beautiful. While out there, I thought of other weedy situations that I’ve cleaned out to make my life better – and less stressed.
Here’s how I’ve cleared my life weeds –
Over flowing email
I gave up ever thinking I’d have an empty email inbox but I have figure out how to keep it under control. To start, I got 3 gmail ids. One is for personal and professional correspondence. The second is for my coaching business and clients. These 2 are most important and I check them regularly. The third is for newsletters, mailing lists and what might be called junk mail. Keeping this separate keeps clutter away from my more important mail. It might seem too much to check 3 ids. But I simply keep 3 browsers open and 1 email id open on each. I only check mail a few times a day and never first thing in the morning unless I’m expecting something specific to arrive. This way I don’t get distracted and off course from my day’s plan.
Divorce helps you sort through who your true friends are. But it takes a while to realize that. I was initially hurt when women I thought I was close with never called. It weighed on me. So I made a point to schedule lunch or dinner or ballet with each one. If I didn’t get a call back or a returned invitation, I decided they were the ones losing out and let it go. And the friendships I still have, blossomed. Same if there is a misunderstanding or argument in a friendship, even within my family, I try to approach and talk through the problem. Friendships should make you feel good not burdened.
Too many clothes
It was a pleasure to weed out my clothes. I did some serious hacking. When we decided to move into our weekend home as full time residents, I first panicked over lack of closet space. But then realized simplifying my life included simplifying my clothes. Did I really need 24 pairs of black pants? Seriously, I had ones for dress and casual and really dressy and wide legs and way too many. Pulling out 1 or even 3 would be like the slow Band-Aid rip. Once you decide to be brave and slash, it’s easy. First I envisioned my new style – then just weeded out the rest. I gave away literally half my clothes to either charities or consignment. Now if I try something on and not sure about it – out it goes. I’ve retrained my head that just because it still fits my body doesn’t mean it still fits my life.
Action – What ‘weeds’ weigh your life down? What about your career? Can you use any of my approaches to help clear them out? What else can you do to clear them out? Even if just baby steps.
Diane, The Midlife Woman’s Career Coach
Diane Howell Topkis is author of A to Z: 26 Keys to Unlock Career Change Success: for Midlife Women (Career Clarity Book 1), the first in her Career Clarity series. Diane works with midlife women to gain the clarity and confidence to reinvent or re-energize their career into meaningful work for their next chapter. Please visit www.YourNextChapterNOW.com to receive your free workbook Is It Time to Reinvent My Career?